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Aussies demand Women's World Cup pay parity

Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe and others delve into who the biggest challenger will be for the U.S., and you'll be quite surprised by their answers.
Megan Rapinoe and other USWNT players explain what it'll take for the United States to win back-to-back World Cup titles.

FIFA is under pressure to introduce parity in prize money between the men's and women's World Cups, with the Australian national women's team leading the charge for equality.

The Matildas, with support from their players union -- Professional Footballers Australia -- are prepared to take FIFA to court if it won't lift payments to female football on the back of public support.

Teams at the 2019 Women's World Cup will be fighting for just 7.5 percent of the purse handed out to the 2018 men's World Cup in Russia.

The disparity means even if the Matildas win the tournament, they'll be paid half of what the Australian national men's team earned last year for their group stage exit.

The PFA says FIFA can afford it with reserves of $US2.75 billion in the bank.

The world governing body also pays its two top executives, president Gianni Infantino and general secretary Fatma Samoura, more as an annual wage ($4.1 million combined) year than the winners in France will receive: $4 million.

On behalf of the Matildas, PFA chief executive John Didulica has engaged FIFA for the last year on the issue with a back-and-forth of correspondence.

After failing to gain support from FIFA, they've turned their private campaign into a public call to arms, launching a website -- ourgoalisnow.com -- on the eve of the tournament.

PFA has asked for an immediate doubling of total prize money -- from $30m to $57m.

"It is the players themselves who are the victims of the discrimination," Didulica writes.

"The PFA expressly reserves the rights of the players to have this matter resolved through appropriate means including mediation and arbitration. There is no legal, economic or practical reason why this cannot occur after the tournament."

The total prize money on offer in France this month is $30m, compared with $400m given to men's teams in Russia.

The Matildas will personally campaign for the move on social media, and ask fellow participants in France to do the same.

"I'm so proud of the PFA for taking the initiative," Elise Kellond-Knight told AAP.

"We're the one association that have put our hand up and said: 'This isn't right, is anyone going to do anything about it?'

"We'll put funds into it. We'll will put the time, the effort, the resources, and we'll investigate it will put a case together and see what sort of support we can get.

"I hope that it gets the backing and the recognition it deserves. It's a legitimate case that we're putting forward."

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams agreed.

"Now's the time. Female sports are on the rise," she told AAP.

"To have a World Cup final sell out in half an hour in female sport is ridiculous.

"It's crazy. And we need more support."

All prize money is received by member federations.

The Matildas have agreed with FFA to share 30 percent of any prize money won in France, split equally among the 23 squad members.

It means each player will receive somewhere between $9,800 (for a group stage exit) and $52,000 (if they win) for their efforts in France.

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